The Hospitality industry in America is getting more attention than before, but is still regarded not as important as the manufacturing industry, and so there is a real need to find what kind of individuals are leading America's profitable hospitality industry and their background, education, and so on. Numerous studies have been done about the individuals leading the America's manufacturing industry, however, very little attention has been given to the profile of the leaders in the hospitality industry.

In this analysis of 121 CEOs leading the America's hospitality industry, it analyzes their age, area of birth, education, place of education, professional background, field of study, tenure with firm , and tenure as CEO. The hotel, food, travel industry have been analyzed. The data collection was started from the beginning of June and was completed at the beginning of August, and 121 hotel, food, airline companies were chosen as the sample of this study. Most of the data of 121 CEOs were from Directory of Hotel&Motel Companies, Fortune 500, Forbes 500, Reference Book of Corporate Management, Standard&Poor's Register of Corporate Management (1994), and hospitality industry journals and magazines. In literature review, it presents the future leadership style which is emerging among hotel, travel, food industry.

The biographical data of CEOs are composed of age, area of birth, educational level, place of education, field of study, professional background, tenure with firm , and tenure as CEO. As for the age, most of the CEOs were in their 50s and 60s.

As for the area of birth, the Midwest and Northeast represented 61% of the total, the percentage of CEOs who were born outside the U.S. represented almost 21%. For the hotel industry, the highest percentage of the birth place was foreign country(30.43%), the highest birth place for the CEOs of food industry was Midwest(37%), and for the airline industry, it was Northeast(50%).

As for the level of education, almost 83% of CEOs had a bachelor's degree, but 17% of CEOs didn't have a college education and 75% of CEOs attended private colleges with 43 % attended top private schools while 25 percent were educated in state-supported institutions.

Surprisingly, only 13% of CEOs studied hospitality related field of study with 22 % studied MBA. In hotel industry, only 3 CEOs out of 34 sample attended hotel school: England, Germany, France, 16% in food industry, and no CEOs in the airline industry sample studied hospitality related field of study. In contrast with the field of education, 51.4% of CEOs had a hospitality background.

Almost 75%of CEOs had tenures of more than ten years, while the percentage of CEOs who worked for more than 20 years are 57%, but most of the CEOs tenure as CEO (almost 68%) was only ten years or less.

This study may reveal only biographical data, but as stated above, it is worthwhile and right time to analyze CEOs basic biographical data.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hotel management--United States--Statistics; Executives--United States--Statistics; Hotelkeepers--United States--Statistics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Hospitality-Tourism Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Food, Hotel and Tourism Management (CAST)


Edward B. Stockham


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TX911.3.M27 L44 1994


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